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Unit information: Militarisation, Militarism and War in 2015/16

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Unit name Militarisation, Militarism and War
Unit code POLIM3022
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Higate
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit deals with the subjects of militarisation, militarism and war through a focus on the United States and the United Kingdom. Specifically, it explores the material and social relations of militarisation and militarism through an inter-disicplinary approach. The unit has two main aims. First, to develop a critical engagment with the ways in which processes of militarisation and ideologies of militarism shape social relations across a wide range of substantive areas, and second to investigate the role these processes and ideologies play in the actual genesis and sustaining of war. The unit aims to further students' understanding of themes and conecpts that have in recent years bcome increasingly relevant to many spheres of everyday life. This unit is only available to students registered for MSc/Diploma degrees in the Department of Politics. Please note that the Department does not permit the auditing of any of its units.


  • To become familiar with issues relating to militarisation and militarism.
  • To provide an introduction to various explanations of militarisation and militarism.
  • To consider the implications of militarisation and militarism within both substantive and theoretical contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge of approaches to understanding militarisation and militarism.
  • Ability to understand a range of relevant concepts related to the nexus linking militarisation, militarism and culture.
  • Ability to integrate theoretical and empirical material.
  • Ability to make articulate, concise, persuasive and well-paced presentations in small groups.
  • Ability to write articulately, concisely and persuasively.
  • Ability to engage in constructive discussion.

Teaching Information

  • Input from the unit convener
  • Seminars with formal presentations by lecturer and focussed discussion
  • Independent Research

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: an oral presentation supported by a hand-out. Summative assessment: a 3,500 to 4,000 word essay

The oral presentation supported by a handout provides formative assessment of the student’s grasp of the substantive issues associated with this unit; of how to engage with that substantive material in an articulate, concise and persuasive way both verbally and in written form; and of the student’s ability to demonstrate the depth of their grasp in the ensuing discussion of the presentation and handout. The essay provides summative assessment of the student’s substantive grasp of the substantive issues associated with this unit; and of how to engage with that substantive material in an articulate and persuasive way in written form which achieves an appropriate degree of depth but which is still concise.

Reading and References

  • Enloe, C. (2000) Maneuvers. California: University of California Press.
  • Shaw, M. (1991) Post Military Society. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Bacevich, A. (2005) The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced By War. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Hedges, C. (2003) War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. New York: Anchor Books.